CAN HUMANS BE HUMANE WHEN CRISIS STARES US IN THE FACE?
Published 31-03-2020 10:08 GMT-0000
Introductory note: The capitalist economy has produced a type of human being who, in moments of crisis such as these times impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), is capable of buying everything, leaving others who need the same items with nothing. —Dagoberto Gutiérrez
FORMER PM MADE INDO-US NUCLEAR DEAL HAPPEN DESPITE MASSIVE ODDS
Published 22-02-2020 14:38 GMT-0000
Manmohan Singh’s biography by former Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia reveals many facets of the former Prime Minister’s personality and landmark decisions taken during his ten-year rule. One of the most significant achievements of former PM was the conclusion of the Indo-US nuclear agreement. Manmohan Singh rightly believed that the non-proliferation regime had imposed a ‘nuclear apartheid’ on India and it would be a major long-term gain for ‘our economy’ if we could get these restriction lifted.
‘THEME IS UNIVERSAL’, SAYS DIRECTOR BONG JOON-HO
Published 19-02-2020 12:04 GMT-0000
In 2019, the euphorically intoned question on everyone’s lips that defined the tiny world of cinematography was: Have you seen Parasite yet?
A METHOD IN MISUNDERSTANDING THE GREAT POET
Published 12-02-2020 11:30 GMT-0000
Faiz Ahmad Faiz came alive when his famous poem Hum Dekhenge was recently termed as anti-Hindu. There were explanatory write-ups and discourses about why and how it is not. In the process, what has gone unnoticed is a method in misunderstanding Faiz. If we are forced to misunderstand Faiz, then serious questions arise. Who does it and why? Misunderstanding Faiz puts a question mark on the Sense of Poetry, which India boasts of. If we fail to appreciate the poetic genuius of Faiz, then really something is wrong with us and also in question is the time=frame in which we are living.
THE HOLLYWOOD ICON NURTURED MANY PROGRESSIVE CAUSES
Published 10-02-2020 10:50 GMT-0000
Kirk Douglas was Spartacus, the doomed slave who rebelled against the repressive Roman Empire. He was Colonel Dax, the soldier-lawyer who defends three sacrificial French troops who refuse a WWI suicide mission in Paths of Glory. He was painter and social activist Vincent Van Gogh who took up the cause of the poor and downtrodden in Lust for Life. Kirk Douglas died on February 5 at the age of 103.
LEFT ICON CRITICISES MODI GOVERNMENT’S TREATMENT OF KASHMIR
Published 08-02-2020 17:05 GMT-0000
In parts of the Arab world and India, interestingly, poetry is witnessing “a huge revival. At the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, students took to platform and sang Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Hum Dekhenge; the same happened in the Jamia Millia University”, said Tariq Ali, now editor of the pro-Trotskyist magazine New Left Review, in his keynote speech on the second day of Lahore Biennale-02 at the National College of Arts. One of the prodigal sons of Lahore, Ali sees in poetry the birth of a new internationalism, no matter “whether that poetry was sung by great stars or not”. The day the US started bombing Iraq, he remembered, he was with the great Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef, who had written a new poem the week before. The poet, Ali recalled, was in Baghdad and corresponded with fellow Iraqi poet-in-exile in Damascus Mudhaffar Al-Nawab addressing him in the poem, ‘What are we going to do, O Mudhaffar Al-Nawab?’ The poem was titled The Jackals’ Wedding. In Iraqi tradition, a jackal’s wedding has a different – and an unpleasant – connotation to the one it has in South Asian culture.
UNITED NATIONS VOWS TO ERADICATE THE HEINOUS PRACTICE BY 2030
Published 07-02-2020 15:52 GMT-0000
Since 2012, February 6 is marked as a day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The aim is to amplify and direct attention towards the ongoing efforts to eliminate this practice.
CAPITALISM’S ‘KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY’ PROFILES US ALL
Published 30-01-2020 11:38 GMT-0000
“Communicative capitalism,” writes the communist philosopher Jodi Dean, refers to a phase of knowledge- and technology-based commodity production in which information on a massive scale is produced, gathered, and sold for profit. What we now call the “information society” or “knowledge economy” sees the large-scale proletarianization of often highly-educated people in low-paying (often low-skilled) jobs, precariously scraping by to pay student loans, cover health insurance, and living paycheck to paycheck, wondering what happened to the “American Dream.”
INDIA’S EXPANDING NUCLEAR ARSENAL NEEDS REGULATORY OVERSIGHT
Published 25-01-2020 10:45 GMT-0000
Since returning to power last year with an overwhelming majority in the 2019 general elections, the Modi-led government has passed a series of legislations in rapid succession without any credible dialogue both within and outside Parliament – amendments to the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which in effect have diluted the statutory requirement for the National Human Rights Commission to be headed by a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, amendments to the already infamous Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, under which even individuals can now be designated terrorists and their properties seized, dilution of the hard-fought ‘Right to Information Act’, which in essence diminishes the independence of the office of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and other information officers, to the latest onslaught of the CAA-NRC-NPR combine, which is being seen as an attempt to disenfranchise particular sections of Indian society – have raised legitimate concerns that the Centre is in an unprecedented rush to appropriate for itself disproportionate powers to meddle with India’s public institutions, weaken democratic oversight, muzzle the right to information, and punish ‘inconvenient’ activists, human rights defenders, and even local communities who are resisting the usurpation of their lands and other community resources for large-scale industrial projects.
FAMOUS POET’S DAUGHTER REMOVES MISGIVINGS ON CONTROVERSIAL POEM
Published 18-01-2020 11:26 GMT-0000
The legendary Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz never-failingly ‘paved the way to lighten our pathways and act as a bridge between India and Pakistan. Recent events have only proved that his words grow more meaningful by the day,’ said the muse’s Lahore-based elder daughter Salima Hashmi in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency. Herself a well-known artist, painter, and educator, she was referring to the controversy about the poem, Hum Dekhenge which was sung last month at the Kanpur campus of the Indian Institute of Technology.